SC order not enough: Sex workers’ network

During the pandemic, she was left with no work or place to live. For almost a year, the NGO Sangama provided her with shelter and basic necessities.

Published: 25th June 2022 04:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2022 04:33 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Supreme Court’s recent judgment recognising sex work as a profession is a beginning but is not enough, said Jayasri Koli, board member of the National Network of Sex Workers (NNSW), on Friday. 

Speaking to the media at a symposium organised by the Karnataka Sex Workers’ Union (KSWU), she stressed on its penetration till the ground level, and said only then will it be considered successful. 
Reshma (name changed), who has been a sex worker for almost 16 years, said that due to identity and address proof issues, many don’t get ration cards or bank accounts.

During the pandemic, she was left with no work or place to live. For almost a year, the NGO Sangama provided her with shelter and basic necessities. Many others are also deprived of housing, ration cards, education and health.

The biggest question is how to implement the judgment against the stigma associated with sex workers in society, asked Neethi Padmanabhan, professor at Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS). “’One’s life, one’s work’, sex workers must be considered dignified workers as in any other profession,” she added. 

Workers at the event alleged that no support was being provided by the government. For instance, dry ration that was to be distributed, never reached them. Responding to it, MG Paly of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, stated that continuous movement of sex workers and lack of identity and address proof makes it difficult for the government to identify them. However, she said they are proposing new schemes for them to provide more support. It has been proposed to use Anganwadi centres as care centres for all workers, including sex workers. 



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